Control: One of the Most Powerful Human Desires


In last month’s Emotional Branding column, I promised to start revealing as many as 20 core human desires that will help your business make strong emotional connections with consumers.

We all have fundamental desires that drive our buying behavior. If you can understand which specific human desires your target audience has as it relates to your products and services, then you will know how to make deep emotional connections with them and motivate them to buy your brand.

This month we focus on Control, one of the most powerful desires that drive us. If your company’s product or service provides consumers with some level of control over their lives, your brand has the potential of becoming extremely desired. Why is control such a powerful human desire?

Just think about how compelling the desire for control can be in our lives. We look to gain control every day. Control over our future, our finances, our jobs, our family, our relationships, and other significant areas in our lives help us control our stability, our emotions and our overall happiness.

Think about the absence of control, and you will understand why it’s so important for us to obtain it. Chaos is something people fear and seek to avoid at all costs. The fear of the unknown, of being poor, disconnected, discontent, inconvenienced, unstable and unhappy drive us to find ways of gaining control.

Companies that understand how their products and services provide control to the consumer will be able to harness this powerful desire and make strong emotional connections with consumers. So, how do you know if your company provides consumers with control?

You need to focus on the consumer and get into their psyche. Kinetic Branding discovered that Control was a powerful human emotion for their client, Structure Development NW, a local custom homebuilder. Structure’s customers want a home tailored to meet their dreams. They earn a substantial amount of money in order to buy control over their future. They work hard in life so they can control their lifestyle. When they are looking to buy a custom home, therefore, they are not looking to buy a particular design style as much as they want to buy control over their lifestyle standards.

If you believe your company provides consumers with control, then you need to start communicating to them with certain triggers that will connect with their desire for control. People who desire control can be somewhat demanding. You will need to understand their expectations more than any other customer. You will need to show them more details, more photos, more drawings, and more facts and figures. They will be hungry for more information, because they want reassurance of the control you offer. You will need to hold their hands in the process, give them progress reports, and deliver more than what they expect. You will be wise to provide them with referrals and testimonials in order to secure their business.

Control is one of the strongest desires in life, and it can take the greatest efforts to connect with consumers who desire it. But the rewards are great because the desire is so strong.

Stay tuned for next month’s Emotional Branding column speaking to the “Desire for Convenience.”

Paul Ruettgers is the founder and creative director of Kinetic Branding, a branding and marketing agency that creates deep emotional connections between companies and consumers, motivating them to love their brand.,, 541- 550-7272.


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